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Tavares doesn’t tip hand towards end of Islanders’ season

The focus for Islander fans turns to captain John Tavares and whether he will remain with the team.

The Islanders’ season may be all but over, both from a playoffs standpoint and a game standpoint. However, the Islanders are still holding out hope for one more thing this season; the re-signing of captain and soon to be unrestricted free agent John Tavares.

Fans will try to find anything in his speeches, talks with the media, and overall demeanor to determine which way he is leaning when it comes to free agency, but Tavares has been his typical steadfast self, always speaking without emotion and never revealing all that much about his thoughts.

It has been that way since Day 1, and it looks like even though the Islanders have only two more games, Islander fans will not get an answer until at least the end of Spring. Tavares spoke with media the past few days and offered few hints as to what his next steps are:

“The fan base has been tremendous since I got here,” Tavares said on Wednesday as the Islanders prepared to face the Rangers on Thursday night at Barclays Center. “People say certain things. I hope it all works out, too, and I’m back as well. I just want to focus one game at a time and finishing the season strong and in the days and weeks ahead there will be plenty of time to think about it and start looking at the future and move forward.”

The quote, courtesy of Newsday’s Andrew Gross, says a lot without saying much at all. It is the same theme that Tavares has followed all season; play his game, drown out the distractions, downplay the free agency, and reiterate his commitment to the Islanders going forward. Not at one point has he even hinted at leaving the team. The fact that he has not re-signed however is alarming.

It was never going to be a money issue, but at this point what kind of issue could it be? Is Tavares waiting to see how management deals with Garth Snow’s failure once again? Maybe he is holding out to see if Doug Weight is let go or any trades go down in the offseason? Is he waiting until the offseason to completely avoid distractions and sit down with the owners to discuss his contract? All of these questions will be answered in the upcoming months.

Personally, I still think that Tavares re-signs. I truly believe that if he thought he was going to leave he would have let Garth Snow know and they would have traded him for a plethora of assets. He has always been a team-first, classy captain and will continue to do so in the blue and orange. Stay patient Islander fans, it is going to be a wild off-season.

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